There are things about our life and ourselves that we don’t like; no one’s life is perfect. Some things you can’t change but, many others are just a step or two away—it’s all about knowing how to take control. The Eagles said it best: “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains /And we never even know we have the key.”

If it’s time to make changes in your life, to improve relationships, go back to school, lose weight, or any other thing that will improve your world, what’s stopping you? You’ll need courage, hard work and sometimes a few tears to make the changes you need. But the time is now to get back behind the wheel and take control of your life. To get you started, we offer a few suggestions on how to take control of your life.

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1. Really Know Your Body
Most any woman will tell you she needs to lose a few pounds but, knowing exactly what you should weigh is a start to getting there. A good measure of your overall health is you BMI or Body Mass Index; to find it weigh yourself and measure your height and use one of the many online conversion tables to determine your BMI. A BMI over 21 is a measure of obesity that can lead to health issues, particularly as you age. Take control by taking account of your temple.

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2. Take Control of Your Cash
If you really want to know how to take control of your life, start by watching your spending.You earned it, you should control it. The days when women turned over their paycheck to husbands to manage the budget are long gone. Invest for your future and your kids’ future. Save for a rainy day, a house or your dreams. Resist the urge to loan money to friends and relatives and learn to budget.

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3. Be Less Apologetic
It is polite to apologize when you’ve done something wrong. Frequently we apologize when we haven’t done anything wrong out of habit. You shouldn’t apologize to a sales person for example “Excuse me, do you have this is red?”—as it is their job to assist you. Too often we take the blame when it’s easier than standing up for ourselves. Women in particular are brought up to accept blame or make excuses for other. Get over it.

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4. Get Out of Your Own Way at Work
When you are a valuable, hardworking employee you shouldn’t have to apologize when asking for the tools you need to do your job. For that same reason, there is no need to apologize when asking for a salary increase, more staff or extra equipment you need to get the job done. We know women make less than men performing the same job; in part it’s because we raise girls to be conciliatory and boys to be aggressive. Time to change the way we’re raising kids when it comes to assertiveness.

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5. Walk Away from Bad Relationships
The only way to avoid having a bad relationship sometime in your life is to live in a cave with rocks piled over the entrance. The difference between having a bad relationship and living in one is the courage to walk away. Your value as a human being means you deserve to be with people who appreciate you and love you the way you are. Be it friend or lover, if that’s not what you’re getting out of the relationship, it’s time to walk away. Take control by staying true to yourself.

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6. Dare to be an Entrepreneur
Striking out on your own is downright scary and not for the faint of heart. If you want to make your mark with a new idea or a new product or service, go for it. Just go for it well informed. Take time to plan finances and employee needs and physical location before making that big leap. It will take a lot of courage and tons of hard work but, you can do it.

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7. Clean Up Your Act – Quit Smoking
The ads are everywhere spelling out the dangers of smoking. If you have turned your head and ignored them, now is the time to take them seriously. Smoking does more than just cause cancer, wrinkles and bad breath; smoking harms those around you. Children of smokers are more apt to have asthma, ear infections and grow up to be smokers themselves.